By Data-Smart City Solutions • October 12, 2018

Each week we will bring you a summary of what happened this week on our site, on Twitter, and in the wider world of civic data. Suggest stories on Twitter with #ThisWeekInData.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Census Bureau is using new digital address canvassing techniques based on satellite imagery. The address canvass determines the addresses to which the Census itself will be administered in 2020, and using the imagery will cut the staffing needed by 90,000 temporary workers. This change is part of a wider effort to modernize and digitize the Census.

The Manhattan Institute published the 2018 edition of Urban Policy, featuring two chapters by our director Stephen Goldsmith. He writes about a new vision for permitting and licensing reform as well as an examination of the concept of user experience in government, which is a central principle for digital city reform.  

Pew’s Stateline highlights ways that inspectors are using mobile devices to make inspections drastically more efficient. Apps allow inspectors to view detailed information about a given item or location and input notes, photos, and other documentation on the spot. App-based inspection of transportation infrastructure was found to save each inspector two hours of work a day in Washington, Minnesota, and Texas.

In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) launched a Transit Tech Lab designed to bring technology solutions to public transit. According to The Verge, companies will submit their products for evaluation by a panel, and the top companies will participate in an eight week accelerator that will lead to a one-year pilot.

Similarly, StateScoop reports that Startup in Residence (STIR) announced 81 new projects issued by participating cities that startups can apply to help solve. The STIR model matches startups with government agencies to collaboratively develop solutions to civic issues; it began in San Francisco and has since spread to cities across the country. The new set of projects covers issues ranging from homelessness to online licensing.

Route Fifty covers the expansion of the Los Angeles Cyber Lab, a public-private partnership focused on the city’s cybersecurity. A $3 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security will enable the lab to develop a platform for the public and private sectors to share information in addition to trainings and an innovation incubator.

Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies published a case study of South Bend’s first office of innovation. The case details a number of the office’s accomplishments including restructuring IT services, launching an online 311 portal, and partnering with the University of Notre Dame.